Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday Talk Time - My Favourite Category Romance

This week at The Pink Heart Society we're joined by triple RITA Award nominee Jackie Braun who's going to tell us all about her Favourite Category Romance...

Asking me to choose a favorite category book is like asking me to choose a favorite flower from my garden. Variety is what makes my garden beautiful and each bloom has its own appeal.

But, since I must, I must. And so I choose Liz Fielding’s book A WIFE ON PAPER. It was released as a Harlequin Romance in March 2005. This book had everything I crave in a romance, whether it’s a category book or a single title:

* A seriously sexy hero who might come off as being aloof and in control, but underneath is vulnerable and a little lost. Brooding Guy Demoke stole my breath from page one.
* A smart heroine, quite capable of standing on her own two feet and of standing up to a challenge. Francesca Demoke is no shrinking violet. When her life is turned upside down and she finds herself on the doorstep of destitution, she does what needs to be done to protect her son and the “strays” she’s taken in.

* And there’s a wise-cracking secondary character who nearly steals a couple of scenes. Mattie Lang may be confined to a wheelchair, but she’s not handicapped in any other way. I loved her, and was glad when Liz gave Mattie her own story in THE MARRIAGE MIRACLE.

After cluing readers in about Guy’s instant attraction for Francesca when they met years earlier, the story begins at the funeral of Guy’s brother, Steven. He and Francesca had never married, but they’d been living together and raising a son.

This is tricky territory for a writer to navigate. How do you start a story when the heroine should be in mourning? All I can say is that Liz does it marvelously. In fact, she somehow manages to use it to her advantage.

Throughout WIFE ON PAPER, the tension, sexual and otherwise, remains high between the hero and heroine. Liz sets up a wonderful conflict for the pair of them in this marriage of convenience plot: They believe that admitting their true feelings for one another would only create more suspicion and distrust.

In the end, I judge a book not just on the plot and characters or the writer’s story-telling skill, but on something far less analytical. If my stomach drops while I’m reading it, then it’s destined for my keeper shelf.

It was like being on a rollercoaster while I read this book, and even though I knew very well that Guy and Francesca were going to have their happily ever after, I was rooting for them and suffering along with them for those last thirty or so pages.

What a terrific read, and just one example of many as to why Liz Fielding has earned so many faithful fans.

For my current release, I got to work with Liz Fielding. She and I met in New York in 2003 when we were both finalists in the Traditional category of the RITA Awards. Five months after that, I quit my day job to concentrate on writing fiction full time.

In addition to being an amazing writer, Liz is as kind as they come and very generous about sharing advice and insights into the business.

When my editor called to say Liz had suggested I be the included in what was to become the Secrets We Keep trilogy I jumped at the chance to work with her and Barbara Hannay. It was an experience I’ll always treasure.

Jackie's latest release is her book from that very trilogy - Found: Her Long-Lost Husband is on sale in the UK and USA right now and can be ordered from both Eharlequin and Amazon.

To find out more why not visit Jackie's Website.

Thanks Jackie!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a coincidence, Jackie. I was watching my Nora Roberts' Montana Sky recording this morning and I got to thinking about other books that I would like made into film and the first that came to mind was Liz's The Marriage Miracle. Then I thought it would be better if the two, Wife On Paper and Marriage Miracle, were made into one film.

    Enjoying Secrets We Keep BTW. Your post just reminded me to go and get yours :)